These are the 9 best banks to work for on Wall Street

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The one and only.
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Eric Thayer/Reuters

There has been big shift on Wall Street.

Vault.com just released its annual ranking of the best banks to work for, examining factors like culture, satisfaction, work/life balance, training, compensation and overall prestige.

The career site asked about 3,000 banking professionals to rate their peer firms on a scale of 1 to 10, and used a weighted formula of their responses to come out with the list.

This year, Goldman Sachs came out on top, a spot it hasn’t held since 2011. This is largely due to the swath of changes it’s made to improve working conditions, which includes a no-working-past-midnight policy for interns, earlier promotions for its junior bankers and a more qualitative feedback system.

A number of boutique firms also moved up on Vault’s list.

Here’s the full ranking:


9. Moelis & Company

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Chief executive officer of Moelis & Co., Ken Moelis smiles after ringing the bell to mark the company’s IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
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REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Moelis & Company jumped 7 spots to No. 9 in this year’s ranking. It also broke into the top 10 most prestigious banks, jumping three spots to No. 10.

Pros:

    “Learning opportunities: a lot of deal and client exposure” “Great pay” “Exit opportunities”

Cons:

    “Long hours” “Work/life balance” “Infrastructure”
The Buzz:

    “Smart people, complicated engagements” “Sweatshop; very hardcore and intense” “Strong middle-market deal flow” “Hires MDs left and right and left but not sure about their quality”

8. Perella Weinberg Partners

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Joseph Perella, the chairman and chief executive of Perella Weinberg Partners, speaks at the Reuters Finance Summit in New York November 11, 2008.
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Brendan McDermid/ Reuters

Perella Weinberg Partners was No. 1 for the best banking firms for benefits, and No.2 for the best banking firms for vacation policies. Pros:

    “Smart, dedicated, high caliber colleagues that you enjoy spending time with and learning from” “Fantastic small-firm culture means analysts and associates feel more connected to senior members” “Working on challenging, high profile deals”
Cons:

    “Hours can be grueling and unpredictable” “Amount of responsibility can be stressful” “Not well known internationally”
The Buzz:

    “Great boutique” “Just lost their restructuring team but still good in M&A” “Good competitors”

7. Greenhill & Co.

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Greenhill & Co.

Greenhill was No. 3 for best banking firms for hours, and No. 5 for best banking firms for LGBT individuals.

Pros:

    “Tremendous amount of responsibility” “Blue-chip clients” “Excellent exit opportunities”
Cons:

    “Hours can be long” “Fewer back-office resources than larger institutions” “Little opportunity for promotion at the analyst level”

The Buzz:

    “Great boutique with a high quality M&A advisory business” “Trending downward after a great run” “Smart people, complicated engagements” “Have fallen off in last few years”

6. Bank of America

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REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Bank of America saw a major turnaround in this year’s rankings, jumping five spots on Vault’s list to No. 6 this year. The firm was also No. 8 this year in terms of prestige and achieved a No. 1 ranking in international opportunities.

Pros:

    “BofA’s support of a great work/life balance and the collegial culture are what keeps me here” “People are very supportive and really strive for the success of the broader team” “Development opportunities: exciting deals, very fast-paced, constantly challenging and changing work environment”

Cons:

    “Hours, pressure, and amount of responsibility” “Employee turnover” “The navigating complexities of a large entity”

The Buzz:

    “Solid, growing US bulge bracket” “Commercial bank still digesting the Merrill acquisition” “Generally very good” “Too big”

5. JPMorgan

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REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

J.P. Morgan moved up three spots to No. 5 on Vault’s list and was No. 3 for the most prestigious banking firms.

Pros:

    “Great culture and colleagues-working with very smart, driven, motivated people” “Career development opportunities are truly unlimited” “Competitive compensation”
Cons:

    “Work/life balance” “Sometimes the processes to accomplish projects can be slow because it’s a big company” “High expectations-the work is demanding”
The Buzz:

    “Cream of the crop” “Good brand but relies on balance sheet instead of analysis” “Great bank-highly respected with exceptional culture” “Overrated; more of a lender than an investment bank”

4. Evercore

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Google Earth

Evercore remain unchanged at No.4 this year but advanced one spot on Vault’s prestige list. Its position was helped by robust M&A business as well as growth opportunities for junior bankers. The bank scored well in terms of quality of life and earned No.1 in formal training.

Pros:

    “Fantastic culture” “A lot of responsibility early on and great compensation” “Great exit opportunities”
Cons:

    “Hours can be tough and unpredictable” “Limited benefits” “Promotion policies”
The Buzz:

    “Top-notch boutique-high quality M&A advisory business” “Not meeting up to the hype it created in terms of transaction experience” “Smart people, complicated engagements” “Not very strong in tech IB”

3. Centerview Partners

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Blair Effron, the cofounder of Centerview
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Screenshot/CNBC

Centerview Partners was up a notch to No. 3 this year, and snagged the top spot in 10 of the 19 quality of life categories that Vault ranks, which includes the ability to challenge, compensation, firm leadership, informal training, hiring process, and promotion policies.

The firm also jumped five spots to No. 6 in Vault’s banking prestige rankings.

Pros:

    “Great analyst camaraderie and helpfulness; other analysts are smart, hardworking, and happy to help out where possible” “You learn a ton by working with the best M&A minds in the business on the most important deals” “Highest compensation on the Street-by a wide margin”
Cons:

    “Very demanding and unpredictable hours-when things get busy, they get very, very busy” “No formal policies around work/life balance” “We like to stay under the radar so not many people know who we are”

The Buzz:

    “The best investment bank” “High caliber senior bankers” “Massive deal volume” “On fire”

2. Morgan Stanley

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Morgan Stanley came in as the No. 2 firm on Vault’s list, helped by the firm’s career development. It was also No. 2 in prestige and No. 1 in corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Pros:

    “Great culture; fantastic and intelligent coworkers” “Challenging work, top-tier clients, lots of development opportunities” “Prestige and exit opportunities”
Cons:

    “Long hours and high pressure environment” “Politics and slow moving decision processes” “Working in Times Square stinks”

The Buzz:

    “Classic investment banking-top-tier bulge bracket firm” “Still a cut above most but may be starting to slip” “Strong tech investment banking presence” “Second best”

1. Goldman Sachs

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A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
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Thomson Reuters

Goldman Sachs remained the most prestigious bank this year, and its strong dealmaking business attracted compliments from rival bankers.

Pros:

    “Working with the brightest, most talented, and hardest working people in the industry-both at the firm and at our clients” “The collaborative, inclusive, innovative culture” “Great advancement and learning opportunities”
Cons:

    “Demanding hours” “Stress and anxiety” “Politics and red tape”
The Buzz:

    “They are the best. Period.” “Stuffy bank, impossible to make partner” “M&A kings, most prestigious overall, great deal flow” “Classic but not the hottest today”